CPI and CPI (M), Manipur filed contempt petition before the High Court of Manipur against Ministry of Home Affairs, director of census operation and delimitation commissioner of India for “willfully, deliberately and intentionally disobeying” the judgment and order passed by a division bench of Gauhati High Court, Imphal in 2007 on delimitation writ petition of 2005 by issuing order of delimitation of the state in 2020.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice A Bimol of High Court of Manipur issued notices to Registrar general and census commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India; director of census operation and chief principal census officer, government of India and delimitation commissioner of India through secretary of delimitation commission for clarification as order issued for delimitation of Manipur on February 29, 2020 has not taken the reference of Guahati High Court order passed on 2007. High court directed them to submit their objection and clarification by proper affidavit through their counsels on July 17.
Contempt petition has been filed on the cause of publication of Gazette of India on February 28, 2020 by government of India as delimitation of constituencies in the state is being conducted and likely to be completed on the basis of the census 2001 based on the estimated data. The cause for conducting re-count of heads of population was deferred on publication of Gazette of India dated on February 2008, thereby deferring the delimitation exercise of constituencies on the basis of census-2001 in the State of Manipur until further orders.
With the publication of Gazette of India dated February 28, 2020, delimitation is sought to be conducted on the basis of estimated Census-2001 without actually conducting one to one head count as directed by the final order in 2007 passed by the Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court in PIL No. 16 of 2005. It has been clear that the respondents have not at all re-counted the heads of population of the rest of 6 (six) hill Sub-Division namely Saitu Gamphzol, Chakpikarong, Morch, Machi, Chandel HQ and Kasom Khullen and the respondents are liable to be severely punished for the same, said the petition.
The contempt petition mentioned that non-compliance of the final order of 2007 despite having knowledge of the order is “deliberate, willful and intentional disobedience” of the direction of the court.
It is mentioned that the authorities concerned are carrying out delimitation of constituencies in Manipur as per gazette of India of 2020 on the basis of the census-2001 which is purely based on estimated population in respect of three hill sub-division, particularly without actual one by one head count of the population. It is submitted that the respondents ought to have published the fresh notification of census-2001 only after actual headcount of the population. Therefore, there is an open challenge by the respondents against the very authority and the High Court of 2007 is being challenged by order issued for delimitation in 2020. Delimitation of constituencies in the state of Manipur based on estimated census-2001 contrary to the final judgment of 2007.
Mention may be made that on 2005, CPI and CPI (M) with 8 other political parties of the state had filed a Writ Petition being PIL No. 16 of 2005 before the Hon'ble Gauhati High Court, at Imphal (now Manipur High Court) thereby praying for quashing the final Census Report 2001 for the State of Manipur and directing the authority concerned to publish another Census Report 2001 by rectifying the abnormal, exaggerated, manipulated and unnatural population figure in respect of the State of Manipur, as well as for a direction of recounting of heads of the population in General for the whole state and regarding the 9 sub-divisions of the Hill Districts of Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel (some of the said Sub-Divisions are now bifurcated as Kangpokpi, Kamjong and Tengnoupal Districts) of the State of Manipur.
That PIL was filed keeping in view of the hue and cry from the large number of public of the state sometime in the year 2003 as there was unnatural, abnormal, impossible, miraculous and humanly impossible growth of population in the 9 (nine) Sub-Divisions of the 3 (three) hill districts, namely, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel (now also bifurcated as Kangpokpi, Tengnoupal and Kamjong Districts) as shown in the provisional Census Report of 2001 which was published by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Union of India. The Census Report of 2001 had failed to give any reasonable explanation to this unnatural phenomenon of population growth of over 169 per cent, etc., which is humanly impossible. After minutely considering the matter the Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court passed the final judgment and order in 2001 directing the respondents to carry out "recount of the heads" of the population in the 9 hill subdivisions of the hill districts of the State of Manipur.